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Source: Motorola Begins New Test Drive Program With Earlier Software Updates

Beta tests for new software releases aren't anything new for Android phones or tablets - they're often referred to as "soak tests," especially when manufacturers and carriers are involved. According to an anonymous tipster, Motorola is instituting a new confidential test program, giving at least some users access to much earlier updated builds for Android phones. Our source says that he or she was invited to test out a KitKat 4.4.2 build for the DROID RAZR M.

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Google Creates Vastly Improved Cast Icon Design Guidelines

Now that the Chromecast is truly coming into its own, Google can turn its attention to the little things. Specifically, the icon. The current cast icon design works fine for some apps, but not so well for others. The new guidelines are aimed at making the status of the icon easier to discern across a range of apps designs.

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The old icon relied on a change in color to indicate connected/non-connected (see below).

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[Deal Alert] Samsung's TabPRO And NotePRO Tablets Discounted By Up To $50 At Amazon, Best Buy, And More

If you think that Samsung's new Galaxy TabPRO and NotePRO tablets are hilariously overpriced, you're in good company. As of today, that company includes at least a few people at Amazon and Best Buy. The new 8.4-inch, 10-inch, and 12.2-inch tablets have been given price cuts from $30-50 dollars. They're still really expensive, just slightly less so.

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The cost for the Galaxy NotePRO (or Note Pro) 12.2 has dropped by $50 across the board, making the final price for the 32GB models $699.99 and the 64GB version $799.99.

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New HTC One (M8) Makes Another Appearance In 14-Minute German Hands-On Video Before Its Official Announcement

HTC might have been cool with a handful of M8 leaks to stir up interest, but this is probably not what the Taiwanese company had in mind. For a second time, the new HTC One has taken center stage in a video hands-on. This time it's 14 minutes long and entirely in German. We do not speak German.

This video really digs into the software experience and shows off that dual-camera.

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Google Patent Application Shows Multi-Sensor Contact Lenses For Wearable Device Input Via Blinks

"Smart contact lens." Get used to that term, even if it makes you cringe - a new patent from Google indicates that at least someone at Mountain View thinks it's a potentially viable idea. Patent Bolt reports on a Google application to the USPTO for "multi-sensor contact lenses," intended primarily as a method for blinking input or input augmentation for wearable devices, or just electronics in general. (Note: this shouldn't be confused with Google's other contact lenses, announced in January as a medical diagnostic device for diabetics.)

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The basic idea is that a number of sensors embedded into a contact lens could be used to detect blinks with incredible accuracy.

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Google Report On The March 17th Outage: 'We Screwed Up Y'all, But It's All Good'

For over a few hours on Monday, several Google services came crashing to a halt. Users all over the world were unable to send messages via Hangouts, engage in video chats, or check Google Voice. Some people trying to create spreadsheets with Sheets were met with 502 errors, and people taking advantage of the multi-player aspect of Google Play Games were also affected. All of this apparently resulted from an oops during a routine hardware maintenance event where the company miscalculated available capacity.

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Moto X Support Page Updated With Android 4.4.2 For AT&T, Update Looks Imminent [Update: It's Live]

Update: The OTA is now live (thanks, Michael Tomy)!

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Good grief, AT&T, you're not usually so far behind the pack. I imagine your Moto X customers, who've had to wait behind their counterparts at Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, and T-Mobile/unlocked carriers for the update to the slightly newer version of KitKat, aren't pleased. But if an updated Motorola support page is any indication, it looks like the Android 4.4.2 over-the-air update may be coming very soon.

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Rumor: With 'Inferred Events' Google Now Will Find Possible Events In Google Apps, Ask To Create Calendar Entries [APK Teardown]

A few days ago, we posted a rumor we felt pretty confident in that would see "who" added to Google's "when" and "where" options for reminders. We now have another rumor, from a source familiar with the matter, which is also related to Google Now's ever-expanding functionality.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
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Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5 Preorders Are Live With Your Choice Of $199.99 On-Contract Or $0 Down Easy Pay

Sprint is joining the ranks of carriers that will take your cash for the promise of delivering a Galaxy S5 to your door next month. The device can be obtained in two ways on the Now Network – $199.99 (after a $50 mail in rebate) with a contract, or $0 down and monthly payments with Easy Pay.

2014-03-21 10_43_34-Samsung Galaxy S5_ Get the latest Galaxy Phone from Sprint.

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Federal Jury Decides Google Owes SimpleAir $85 Million For Push Messaging Patent Infringement

You can't run a tech company these days without infringing on someone's patents, and if you feel that you're infringee material, the Eastern District of Texas is the place to set up shop. SimpleAir, a Texas-based "inventor-owned technology licensing company," took Google to court over push messaging systems used in Android. Last month a jury found that Google infringed on all five of the asserted claims, leaving the company liable to pay up to $125 million for damages.

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